Uniworld announces its first river “Super Ship” renovation plans
Out with the River Beatrice, in with the SS Beatrice.
Uniworld's River Beatrice has become a familiar sight on the Danube, cruising between Europe's most famous Christmas markets and taking the most scenic route possible between Hungary, Austria, Germany and Romania.
The elongated vessel is hard to miss, coming in at 125 metres long but only about 12 metres wide. It's probably even harder to miss after setting foot on board, where a modest number of guests (no more than 156 in 63 state rooms) are attended to by a full complement of 53 staff, taking care of the vessel's river spa, bar, fitness centre, restaurant and captain's lounge and library.
And yet, despite already being classified as an ultra-luxury river vessel, Uniworld has announced plans to renovate the River Beatrice, after which she will relaunch on 4 April 2018 as the SS Beatrice, and Uniworld's fifth next-generation "Super Ship."
The meticulously designed luxury ship is going to face a complete overhaul inside and out.
Why overhaul an already deluxe river cruiser?
Uniworld already has four other Super Ships in its river fleet, but Beatrice will be the first to join the collection following renovations, rather than construction from scratch.
"We’re thrilled to re-launch the SS Beatrice as our first vessel to be upgraded to a Super Ship," said Uniworld managing director Fiona Dalton. "Uniworld is committed to providing the utmost in luxury on the European rivers... we’re eager to introduce yet another remarkable super ship to our fleet."
To this end, Uniworld has contracted its partners Red Carnation Hotels. It's a natural combination, with Red Carnation being well known in hotel circles for its ability to bring comfort, technology and luxury to historically significant venues like castles and heritage homes, as well as its previous work on other Uniworld Super Ships.
However, these renovations might be more high-impact than most.
- Complete redesigns of all guest rooms - Modern craftsmanship and original artworks will help burnish the rooms, while connecting doors and more up-to-date amenities will add a range of practical benefits.
- A new bow - The exterior will be characterised by a sleeker and more graceful bow.
- Removal of the captain's lounge and library - Newer technology may have rendered the library largely obsolete, without which the captain's lounge is space that can be put to better use.
- Installation of new dining venues - Food travel in Europe is especially popular, and river cruises can be particularly good options for the travelling gourmet because fresh local ingredients often come on board more frequently. This overhaul aims to please by offering more options to take advantage.
- The addition of three new suites - Two new Royal Suites of 35 square metres each, and another Owners Suite to join the existing one, are set to expand the accommodation options.
- Overhauled lounges and the addition of Super Ship signatures - The lounges will be adjusted like the rooms, with their own craftsmanship updates, original artworks and technology features, as well as the addition of a grand staircase, one of the Uniworld Super Ship signatures.
On the serenity of the river it's easy to forget that European river cruising is an exceptionally competitive market with a lot of jockeying for position around key travel times.
A complete renovation of an already-deluxe vessel might seem excessive, but Uniworld is in very distinguished company, and needs to take strong steps if Beatrice is going to stand out among other European river cruise lines.
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